Entering Teresita-Mind on the Ghost Road
I was telling you on the "Ghost Road" posting about my dread of the Teresita-Mind. Where all things are sacred and many things are holy. Where the day tastes so sweet it hurts, and pain is deep blue and joy is some sort of golden stitchery on the morning. It's a hard place to be. I know it wore Teresita out, as it wears many masters and medicine-people and good preachers out. Do you get a black-belt in holiness? Or do you become a shuffling holy fool like Jack Kerouac? Or a charred mad balladeer like Bob Dylan? I don't know. I am unwilling. But the Cabora-Mind finds you--let one crack open up in your armor of the modern life, and it will rush in like flood water or daylight. Like this: I was flying last week. Yeah, haha, I was flying--I mean the plane was flying and I was sitting inside it. I'm not that far gone yet. And you know, you get up there in the realms of ether and clouds and the spirits and spooks can get at you. I was going to Phoenix--not knowing that I'd be startled by over 400 people at the library, and my good pals the police dept. detectives with their Glocks there to keep psychos and border ruffians from killing me (hello, Detective Abril!); then on to San Francisco, where my friends came to visit in library and bookstore. Many many autographs and good laughs and some tears even. Flying America West, with my iPod going trying to make the time flow. I had seen the Kiefer Sutherland thriller on the last flight. So, get this: Teresita whomped me somewhere above Kansas. I looked up, and this old woman got out of her seat and stood in the aisle. Then, struggling, falling back, then rising, then stumbling, then rising again, came her old old husband. He wore a track suit--a deep blue warm-up zipped sweat shirt and running pants. And he was palsied. His hands vibrated and jumped, alive unto themselves. He had the hardest time getting up and turning around to face the rear of the plane. She held him, encouraged him. His eyes were bright as my daughter's, made huge by his glasses. And he shivered and shook and strained down the aisle toward the bathroom, a look of determination on his face as if he were climbing the Rockies. And a thought rose in my brain like a bubble, uninvited: Old man, you have led a good life. I am so thankful you were here. Oh crap. I started to cry. Oh no! Not now! Not Hummingbird-itis! Not here! I couldn't stop crying, man. I tried to look like I was yawning and wiping tired eyes. And I almost got it together. BUT HE CAME BACK. His hand clutched the seat back beside my face, and he wobbled a few times and went on to his seat. But she was there, open arms, waiting for him. Receiving him. And he went to her like a little one learning to walk. And she grasped him and whispered to him. And then, that no good bastard the iPod, did me in: The Who, from "Tommy," the 1921 song. Remember it? "I have a feeling '21 is going to be a good year. /Especially if you an me see it in together. / I've got no reason to be over-optimistic,/ But somehow when I see your face I can brave bad weather." Aaaahhh! I started to really cry. Stop it! Stop it! And then, thank God, relief: the iPod shuffled up the evil punk band Fear and their song "I Don't Care About You": "I don't care about you! I don't care about you! I don't care about you! Fuck you!" Whew. A last minute save or I would have fallen on the floor bawling. Fear--agents of God. I bet that's a new one for them. It's coming on me. I hear its wings. I smell it like distant rain. Am I ready to go? XOX, L

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